20150122

Roles of African-American Women on Prime-time TV Leaves Room For Questioning

Many who read this blog know that I perceive tv-watching a big waste of good energy for the most part. However, there are a few shows that I enjoy; and some, well I down-right question if there is a motive to denigrate the real-life integrity of the actors involved. Before I belabor the latter point, I will say that tonight I just finished watching "The Taste." I enjoy the show; and, it serves as a good detractor from the much-too lengthy season of "The Biggest Loser." Congrats to Team Marcus and Gabe for earning the winning trophy.

But, on to the primary reason for this post. Recently, the show "Empire" began airing and, I, being a fan of whodunnit murder-mysteries had hopes that this might be something to watch. But, after just three episodes it is official: BOYCOTT!!!!! Last night's episode of black women displaying raunchiness at every turn makes me realize that the roles in Hollywood are lacking for demonstrating women's integrity and strength; in this case, black women. I have to say that the actress Taraji Henson's role could have taken a much-more-powerhouse role; but, it is clear the show's script is weak, which explains the over-dousing of hideous sexual exploits and inferences. Admittedly, all the 20-somethings told me up front that I wouldn't finish the season as they know well that I have boycotted "Scandal" from the beginning.  Well, they are right. I will not disappoint them. I am however, disappointed that Henson, who kept the show Person of Interest 'alive' has gone the way of trash tv in her current role.

I'd like to say the trash-heap role of African-American women was limited to this show; but, I was reminded of "How to Get Away With Murder" and Viola Davis' character portrayed as a smart, high-powered woman, being shown in scenes that remind us of our gratitude to cosmetic companies worldwide, in a role where she is raped by her husband and boasts of an illicit affair which leaves many women wondering if there are any healthy roles for black women in Hollywood. Of course there are a few; but, this is about the negativity that stands out in the sleaze-roles of African-American women who often have links as white-men's whores; or as in "Empire" men's 'ho's. Disgusting.

I'll close by saying women are as powerful as they allow themselves to be. Saying yes to roles that break from the true spirit of the individual really makes them look as if they'll do anything for the dirty dollar. As I stand in the slow check-out lines I find myself staring into the eyes of these women and realize that the behavior on screen has to filter in to their personal lives. After all, real-life husbands probably don't turn the scenes off when the producer says "cut". I have to admit I'm a bit disappointed with the poor roles on night-time tv; and am glad to be able to say no to the same by simply turning the channel, or television off.

On a final note, I can't help but note that "Empire" coincides with the happy-family show "Blackish". Tracee Ross plays the healthy role of doctor-mom; and is a big favorite for many viewers. Yes, the show is okay; however, I am really past the age of wanting to watch family-comedies with growing children 'drama.' I dunno, there has to be something in the cards that makes African-American women more high-powered than what I've observed recently. I know I'm old-school; but I remember Diahann Carroll in "Dynasty" decades ago. Now, that was drama worth watching :)!  That's all for now; just needed to put in print what's been in my spirit for a few days now.